Muscat: Air travellers passing through Muscat Airport are snapping up just as much now in duty free goods as they were before the economic slump, according to the general manager of Muscat Duty Free.
The current slowdown in the market has not affected sales at Muscat Duty Free and travelers are buying the same as in the past, General Manager Martin Mullen said.
“The current slowdown has not affected our business,” he told Times of Oman.
He confirmed that a decision by airlines to count duty free buys as part of carry-on luggage has not affected their business as Oman Air is not restricting its passengers to carry duty free on board.
“So that decision has not affected us commercially,” Mullen said.
Muscat Duty Free operating at the current airport is a 50-50 venture between Oman Air and Aer Rianta International Middle East (ARIME).
Earlier, this year ARIME was awarded the contracts for the management and operation of the shops in the new Muscat International Airport by the Oman Airports Management Company (OAMC).
The duty-free and luxury retail package will offer ARIME 5,200sq m space to provide core duty-free products in addition to luxury fashion, accessories, watches, toys and confectionery.
“We have won the contract to operate the new shop base in the new Muscat International Airport and we have got some outstanding tenders for premium branded fashions and some other stores,” Mullen said.
Speaking about the new brands which will be available in the new airport duty free, Mullen said, “We are in talks with a lot of premium brands who want to be in a premium airport.”
“The new airport has fantastic facilities and it deserves to have very good brands to showcase the airport as well, the general manager asserted.
Mullen said that the new airport has the best infrastructure in the Middle East.
‘I have worked in many parts of Middle East but this is the best I have ever seen,” Mullen asserted.
The new airport looks modern and up to date, and definitely will become one of the top 20 airports in the world by 2020, he believes.
“We are trying to deliver premium class to our customers,” Mullen said.
He also confirmed that the new duty free service will be better than those in Dubai International Airport.
“We are bringing in some brands which Dubai Duty Free doesn’t have so far and pricewise it will be the same on any brand,” Mullen confirmed.
He also said that the most of their customers are going to Indian destinations.